Keeping trim: your grooms’ grooming guide for hair and beard for the big day

Looking good on your wedding day isn’t just about your wardrobe – your grooming routine also deserves an upgrade

“Being styled and groomed adds a tremendous amount of confidence on your big day,” considers House Martin Barbers’ Stephen Martin

You’ll likely have spent hours agonising over your wedding outfit. Kilt or tartan trousers? Double- or single-breasted jacket? But as fastidious as you might have been sartorially, have you given any thought to your grooming?

If not, there’s no time like the present. “On the big day, most guys will be wearing perhaps the most formal get-up of their lives. You don’t want it to be offset by scruffy facial hair and bedhead, especially when stood next to your partner,” posits Stephen Martin, owner of House Martin Barbers in Glasgow.

With this in mind, it’s best to start with the barnet. “I would say grooms should have one or two ‘practice’ cuts in the months before to make sure they’re happy with their chosen style,” says Stephen. “I’d recommend timing the final trim for 3-7 days prior to the wedding; most guys prefer their hair as it ‘settles’ into the cut. This often takes a few days. However, if you like your hair short, particularly if you go for a fade, then the closer to the event the better.”

Avoid a close shave by seeking out the experience of Kings Barber Shop

Apply a similar logic to your stubble. Stephen suggests making a conscious effort to examine daily growth and keep in mind what looks best on you. There’ll be no five-o’-clock shadow here, lads.

What if your locks are lacking? “Even those with thinning hair can still sport a cut that makes the most of what they have,” Stephen stresses.

“Keep it short at the sides but leave some length on top to play around with.” And if you’re bald, there are still steps you can take.

“A traditional wet shave is a great way to feel groomed even if you haven’t been to the barbers in years,” Stephen offers. “Or have what hair you do have shaved down the day before the wedding to ensure it looks fresh.”

Of course, if you do have thinning hair and it’s making you feel self-conscious at the thought of those everlasting wedding album snaps, there are other options out there. The rise of celebrities having treatment to combat hair loss – the astonishing number includes Wayne Rooney, Jude Law and Sylvester Stallone – has popularised it amongst us mere mortals. One thing’s crucial though: to do your research and enlist an experienced team of hair transplant doctors, whether that’s at home or abroad.

If there’s one thing you should take away from this, it’s that products can make all the difference. “We use a lot of salt spray before blow-drying, the same way you would mousse,” Joanne Woods at Kings Barber Shop in Clydebank explains.

“It gives a good, invisible hold while providing fullness and texture. If you’re low maintenance, simply towel-dry the hair, spray, comb and go.” Stephen also suggests moustache wax and beard oil or moisturiser to keep facial hair polished.

Our grooming edit

From left: Vetiver and Sandalwood hair and body wash, £9.99 for 200ml, The Scottish Fine Soaps Company; St. Moriz Man Tan, £6, BoohooMAN; BRISK Intense beard oil, 50ml for £7.99, Boots; Remington Heritage fold-out trimmer, £24.99, Argos; Solid State Haze cologne, £45, Eight Yards

Come the wedding, make tracks to a barber to ensure you look your best. “On the big day, I would advise arranging a hair service, so it can be blow-dried to perfection. That said, I would recommend a trial beforehand with the same stylist,” Joanne says.

Plan ahead if you’re tempted by the thought of a hot-towel shave. “This treatment is a bad idea if grooms don’t do it often – the skin can get rough and break out,” she continues. “Try it a few times in the lead-up to the event to see how your skin reacts.”

Stephen also has some parting advice: stay classic. “The photos are going to be around forever,” he says. “We have all seen pictures that are like a parody of the time period. Keep it muted and smooth.” Roger that.